NFC West: Stephon Heyer

Dockett on right side of league fine

September, 26, 2008
9/26/08
4:01
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The Cardinals have all but pleaded with defensive lineman Darnell Dockett to cut down on unnecessary penalties, including dead-ball fouls. Perhaps the approach is working.

The league has fined Redskins tackle Stephon Heyer $5,000 for shoving Dockett unnecessarily away from the play in Week 3. Officials flagged Heyer on the play, wiping out a 68-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.

Dockett is a tough matchup for just about anyone. He's also very aggressive and quick off the ball, a combination that doesn't always sit well with offensive linemen. There's no telling what Dockett might have done to anger Heyer, but Dockett did not immediately retaliate. That is progress.

Update: Thanks to spooneycardsfan and Corrupt3d for providing some context in the comments section. That prompted me to dial up the play on my DVR. Cardinals linebacker Gerald Hayes took down Clinton Portis hard and awkwardly near the sideline on a play. Heyer then drove Dockett downfield on a Portis run. Dockett grabbed Portis around the neck as he tackled him. Portis was not happy. Portis then slammed into Dockett hard while protecting the passer. Dockett absorbed the blow and reversed the charges, sending Portis into the air. Dockett and Portis were squaring off when Heyer came over and decked Dockett. I wonder, in retrospect, if Dockett was about to engage Portis in a penalty-drawing duel. Dockett and Portis were not fined for their actions during this game.

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The Cardinals' road game against the Redskins provides an opportunity to take a closer look at Washington. Fans of NFC West teams will quickly see a connection between the Redskins' offensive scheme and the one Seattle has favored under Mike Holmgren. Jim Zorn brought Mike Holmgren's offense to Washington when the Redskins named him head coach.

  

Our roided-out Redskins roster breaks down the Redskins by 25 categories, with lots of draft-related information. Washington has 10 draft choices from 2008 on its roster, tied with Indianapolis for second-most in the league behind Kansas City (11). Unlike the Colts and Chiefs, the Redskins remain one of the oldest teams in the league.

No team in the league has older offensive players on average than the Redskins. Their offensive players average 28.8 years old (the Rams' offensive players are second at 28.4, a relatively large gap). The Redskins' starters rank second-oldest on offense and fourth-oldest on defense. Their offensive backups are the third-oldest in the league even though Washington has five 2008 offensive draft choices on its 53-man roster.

The Redskins have 10 starters in their 30s, most in the league and nearly double the average (5.8). They have only five starters age 25 or younger (the range is from four to 15 leaguewide). And their starting offensive line averages a league-high 30.9 years old even after the team replaced 32-year-old right tackle Jon Jansen with Stephon Heyer, 24.

For more on the Redskins, check out Matt Mosley's NFC East blog. Here's a direct link to Redskins-related entries on his blog.

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